Acupuncture During Your Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

If you are suffering from one or numerous pregnancy-related ailments, one treatment to explore is acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific parts of the body. Keep reading to learn important info about acupuncture during your pregnancy.

1. Acupuncture Can Relieve a Host of Pregnancy Symptoms

Some of the pregnancy-ills that your acupuncture may help with include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation

Researchers theorize that the insertion sites for the needles are located at areas of the body with deep nerves. The insertion of the needles activates the nerves, causing the release of chemicals that improve your ailments. Your practitioner may electrically stimulate or heat the needles to increase the release of these chemicals.

Before your session, you'll tell your practitioner what pregnancy side effects you are suffering from so that they can determine the best sites to insert the needles. During the session, you will lay in a comfortable position that permits easy access to the insertion sites. Once the needles are in and stimulated (if applicable), they will remain in place for up to 30 minutes. 

2. There are Minimal Side Effects Associated with Acupuncture

Some women turn to acupuncture because they are uncomfortable with the potential side effects of prescription medication. Others have tried medication, but find that it is less effective than they had hoped. Regardless of why you decide to try acupuncture, rest assured that there are minimal side effects for you and your baby. 

You may experience slight redness or soreness at the insertion sites for the needles. The actual insertion of the needles is usually painless.

Check that your acupuncture provider is licensed to practice in your state and has a certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. You should also stick with an acupuncture therapists with experience treating pregnant women. 

3. Your Insurance May Cover Your Sessions

How often you go to your acupuncture session varies based on the severity of your symptoms. Some women choose to go once or twice a week for the duration of their pregnancies to stay on top of pregnancy side effects, while others book sessions only as needed. 

Some insurance policies do provide coverage for pregnancy acupuncture sessions. You'll have to check the details of your policy for coverage conditions and information concerning your deductible or co-pay. You can also use funds in a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) to alleviate the costs of your acupuncture sessions.